By Charlene & Richard Mixa
A Tranquil to Thrilling Wisconsin Lakeside Resort
A pristine white classical hotel shines and sparkles in the afternoon sun along the shimmering shores of Lake Michigan. In the dazzling grand lobby with beautiful lake views, we are warmly welcomed for a unique vacation experience at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Whether seeking a tranquil romantic escape or the thrill of an outdoor or indoor adventure, the Blue Harbor Resort has it.
Bright and newly renovated accommodations are varied from large guest suites and lavish four-bedroom Presidential Suites in the hotel to fully-appointed two and four bedroom villas, some with kid-friendly bunk-beds. Wow, we’re staying in the spacious well appointed Presidential Suite with magnificent dazzling views of Lake Michigan. On driving trips “extra” space is welcome. On the large dining room table we spread out maps for trip planning and the living room’s double couches are comfy for watching TV, reading, or enjoying the mesmerizing lake scenery.
Light breakfasts and refreshments are simple with a full kitchen. A luxurious plush king-bed, whirlpool tub and TV are special touches in the Master Bedroom. Double shower heads in the Master Bath’s shower are revitalizing. Each day starts with a majestic sunrise over Lake Michigan.
After an early carferry trip across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin, we are definitely ready to stretch our legs. Miles of lakefront boardwalk and beach are just what we need. Ah, a cool lake breeze, fresh air, and a glimmering lake! Strolling the lakeshore we spot guests relaxing in the Adirondack chairs, sunning at the stunning outdoor pool, playing Bocce Ball, and dining on the outdoor patio. The Resort is on a peninsula between Lake Michigan and the Sheboygan River where we find shops, eateries, and a picturesque boat marina along the riverfront.
Retreat into peaceful tranquility at the Blue Harbor Resort’s Reflections Spa, voted one of the best boutique spas in the state by Milwaukee Magazine. In the Quiet Room, we sip water and clear our minds to immerse ourselves into wonderful massages. Josie and Charna, our Massage Therapists, begin with a mild foot scrub and foot massage. In a luxurious treatment room with heated pads on the massage beds, soft soothing music, aromatherapy candles, and scented oils our stress dissolves under the skillful hands of Josie and Charna. After our backs, shoulders and legs are all massaged, we turnover. Ooh! Hot towels are carefully placed around our feet, under our necks and on our stomachs to enhance relaxation and probably “snoozing.” Pampering is so wonderful! We leave Reflections Spa refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated in body, mind and spirit.
For a thrilling outdoor adventure, we brave The Bull at Pinehurst Farms, a fantastic Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. Initially Pinehurst Farms was a family farm raising champion Holsteins until a fire in 1993 ended its dairy-farming days. Nicklaus took the “Bull by the Horns” and created an exceptional championship golf course utilizing and incorporating challenges of hilly terrain, bunkers, marshes, rivers, ponds dividing fairways, and more. The first four holes start out like a contented cow. Beware! The Bull is lurking and charges in on Hole No. 5 with a major dogleg and deep ravine along the left side of the fairway. Ugh, we all lose a ball. Playing The Bull is a “bullish” golf adventure and is not for the faint of heart. Tall fescue grasses, thick rough, bizarre bunkers, and demanding greens add to the thrills at The Bull. Precise shots are a must to carry hazards or to stay out of nasty terrain. The GPS on the cart helped but we still found lots of surprises. With accolades by Golf Digest of 4 ½ Stars and ranked in its “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses” we agree The Bull is a must play while in the Sheboygan area. After battling The Bull we reward ourselves at the Champions Restaurant for a tasty lunch reliving the great shots and wishing we had time to go a second round with The Bull.
It’s time to get drenched! Hot from golf and the 90 degrees temperatures, we head to Breaker Bay Indoor Waterpark at the Blue Harbor Resort. Hopping on inner tubes we float along the refreshingly cool water of the Lazy River. Twisting and turning down the multi-story water slide is a blast. Flattening out gains speed! Looks like we’re the oldest ones (both over 60) actually using the Breaker Bay today. Carrying a double inner tube, we climb the steps to the very top for a swishing, swashing, swirling, snaking water slide that eerily winds through a dark tunnel going in and out of the building then plunges us into a large pool. Bells ring and a huge bucket dumps 1000 gallons of water on us. It’s endless thrills and chills for kids of all ages. FUN! FUN! FUN!
There’s music in the air! Our final evening we happen on an Americana concert by the Sheboygan Pops Concert Band at the Sheboygan Fountain Park. Listening to old favorites of American marches is wonderful. “America the Beautiful” is a fantastic finale reminding us of our magnificent country and how blessed we Americans are. A truly special ending for our unforgettable visit to Sheboygan and the Blue Harbor Resort which “shines” along the sparkling shores of Lake Michigan.
If you go: Sheboygan has some good sights to visit while in the area so be sure to check with concierge or Visitors Center for suggestions. The Resort has several dining options from casual to their upscale Latitude Restaurant. We enjoyed dining in downtown Sheboygan and some restaurants along the Sheboygan River Waterfront. The Village of Kohler, Wisconsin is only a few miles from Sheboygan and we highly recommend visiting this unique village. A good excursion is a visit to the fascinating Kohler Design Center, take the excellent Kohler Factory Tour (both free), and have lunch at The American Club’s Horse and Plow (where you can also roam this historical hotel) or one of the eateries at the Shops of Woodlake.
Blue Harbor Resort, 725 Blue Harbor Drive – Sheboygan, WI 53081; 866.701.BLUE; www.blueharborresort.com
The Bull at Pinehurst Farms, One Long Drive, PO Box 112, Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085; 920.467.1500; www.golfthebull.com